Amid the recent outburst in mass shootings, President Biden has brought up the idea of the improvement of gun control in America. On
Tuesday, Mar. 23, the president addressed the recent grocery store shooting in Boulder, Colorado that took place the day before. In his short speech, President Biden proposed a reform on gun control that would ban assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
This proposed reform comes after two mass shootings within the same week, the first being an attack in Georgia and the second being the grocery store shooting in Colorado.
“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act,” said President Biden in his speech.
Less than a week after this address, President Biden announced that gun control was no longer his next priority, pivoting the public conversation to discuss infrastructure in a press briefing that took place on Thursday, Mar. 25.
This change in plans has received significant backlash from supporters of gun control who were already upset by President Biden’s lack of gun reform in January as part of his campaign promises.
President Biden’s involvement in gun reform dates back to the 1990’s when he assisted in the passing of the Brady Bill, which required background checks on most gun purchases as well as a temporary ban on sales of some military-style semi-automatic guns.
Throughout Biden’s political career, he worked on gun reform projects with varying degrees of success. While campaigning for president, one of Biden’s campaign promises was to send a bill to Congress that would repeal liability protections for gun manufacturers and close loopholes in background checks. This, however, did not come to fruition within Biden’s first few months of presidency, which is why this second change in plans has upset many of his supporters.
“I was very frustrated that he pivoted to infrastructure this week,” said Igor Volsky who founded Guns Down America. Guns Down America is one of many organizations who have been calling for Biden to prioritize gun reform in the United States.
In the past month, the House has passed two bills strengthening background checks during firearm purchases, one of which extended the amount of time the FBI has to complete background checks, potentially closing a loophole that previously allowed people to buy guns without background checks due to time concerns.
Even with the two newest bills, gun control activists are saying that it is not enough. The push for a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines continues to put pressure on President Biden.
Sources: NPR, NYT, whitehouse.gov, Guns Down America.